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Old horse ongoing pain control?

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  • Plumcreek
    started a topic Old horse ongoing pain control?

    Old horse ongoing pain control?

    My 25 year old retired brood mare is getting frail to the point that she needs ongoing pain control. She has tendon issues in front legs, spinal arthritis, and pretty severe arthritis in a back pastern. Max dose of MSM is no longer enough, and her main issue is a hard time getting up and down when rolling outside. She lives like a queen and has great food, blankets, and a stall highly banked on one side so she can get up and down easily in there. She is finally in good weight thanks to Teff hay that she loves, great alfalfa, senior and beet pulp,and she is still full of life. Edited to say she also gets Flax seed for weight and any anti-inflamatory effects it may have.
    I would like to get her through at least next summer so she can graze outside in the sun again.
    Her mother was on 3/4 gm Bute per day many years ago when aged and even that amount resulted in an ulcer found after she died from another cause.

    Besides alternating Bute and Asparin, any options that work? Any combo pain supplements that have good results in old horses? Of course, I am also asking my vet.

    TIA
    Last edited by Plumcreek; Jan. 10, 2011, 07:02 PM.

  • SAcres
    replied
    There are two Smartsupplements that are for pain. Smart TLC and Smart TLC Herb-Free. I might try the Smart TLC...it has good reviews. Nothing will beat NSAIDs but if you want to try to hold off on bute or previcox it could be worth a try. I would pair the Smart TLC with a joint supplement or plain msm, as it only has 5 g of msm.
    There are other supplements you could try too like Smartflex senior, smartflex repair, recovery ha, equithrive, devil's claw plus, or any other joint supplement really.

    Leave a comment:


  • Plumcreek
    replied
    So my old mare has now been on Previcox for 4 days. This is definately working as she is the same level of sound as when on the 1.5 gm Bute. She walks more fluidly, and generally seems happier.

    As she is free fed, and never really hungry,I do not give it in her grain, because I want to make sure she gets it in on time. She loves carrots, so I just give her a bite of carrot, then crunch the next bite up into small pieces, and include the 1/4 Previcox tab, She gobbles it down. Very easy.

    Leave a comment:


  • fooler
    replied
    My old girl is that one in a million horse that does not tolerate MSM well so have used non-MSM joint supplements. I had used Conquer gel with really good results. Then last summer she developed "active" arthritis in her left hock so we needed to review the supplements and add bute.

    At the WEG's they were handing out samples of Triple Crown Fish Oil powder. It does not contain MSM and my mare will eat it. Just finishing 2 months of use and she is good with .5 gram of bute 2-3 times a week plus 1 gram the day before her feet are trimmed.

    She will turn 31 on Jan 29th and still bucks and farts around her paddock. Good luck with your old soul.

    Leave a comment:


  • Plumcreek
    replied
    Thanks Fharoh. That will work out well because I am out of Bute.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fharoah
    replied
    Please remember that you have to give at least four days off of bute before switching to previcoxx.

    Leave a comment:


  • Plumcreek
    replied
    Originally posted by stilldreaming View Post
    I love this thread.
    I am doing my best to keep an arthritic horse comfy for as long as it wants. We are not sound, but have found noticeable improvement with pvcx. I also give a joint supp, "nimble supreme", 2 scoops/day.

    Question-- and I will ask my vet-- but can I add MSM to this? MSM is not on the numble label. I have never considered that.
    I have found MSM very useful, and all my horses are on the maintenance dose of 10,000. I just add up any MSM in supplements to make sure I know how much total any one horse is getting. My old mare is on a bit less than 20,000 (the normal loading does), a scoop morning and night. I use the cheapest powered MSM for the other horses, but I buy the pelleted version for the old mare as she is a pickier eater, and has always only eaten what she needs to be in good shape, vs my other airfern mare that would eat herself to death if allowed.

    Old mare has been on a gram of bute for 4 days now, is MUCH sounder and happier, so a switch to Previcox will probably do the trick.

    My old mare's mom died at 18, so the 20+ area is new to me, as my geldings have been sold. I did keep a boarder Appalosa gelding for several years that came here at 36 totally sound - and a very elastic mover, but virtually blind. Every morning I slid my eye around the door, expecting to see him dead in his stall, but nope. He left here at 40 and lived to 44, still sound, and was finally put down due to a melanoma that was out of control.

    Leave a comment:


  • atr
    replied
    Previcox is less hard on the gut than bute, but it's not without any side effects (as a course of omeprazole is teaching me at the moment.)

    Gabapentin? Really? How interesting. I've just been prescribed this and after a few nights of terrible nightmares which I was too doped to escape from, I've stopped taking it. Definately a case of the cure being worse than the disease!

    Leave a comment:


  • stilldreaming
    replied
    Pvcx, Glucose + HCL & MSM?

    I love this thread.
    I am doing my best to keep an arthritic horse comfy for as long as it wants. We are not sound, but have found noticeable improvement with pvcx. I also give a joint supp, "nimble supreme", 2 scoops/day.

    Question-- and I will ask my vet-- but can I add MSM to this? MSM is not on the numble label. I have never considered that.

    Leave a comment:


  • tpup
    replied
    Previcox has done wonders for my older, arthritic gelding. He has been on it for a year with no issues. He had ulcers once so Bute wasn't an option. Previcox is much easier on the stomach and our vets swear by it. He is ridden regularly and acts like a 10 year old (or younger). It is really great stuff.

    Leave a comment:


  • animaldoc
    replied
    Nothing wrong with bute as needed for quality of life. Usually in my hands, bute is the best for arthritis pain, but like someone said, our patients are individuals, so if one NSAID doesn't work, change the dose, try another etc. I wouldn't "alternate" NSAIDs though (too much potential for interactions) or alternate with aspirin - not a great analgesic in horses.

    I have used gabapentin in horses with some success. It is good for neuropathic pain and chronic pain (but there isn't much published on it yet). I usually use it with an NSAID for 5-7 days and then try and back off or discontinue the NSAID and continue the gabapentin for 6-8 weeks or indefinitely. The starting dose is 2.5 mg/kg PO BID, but you can go up to 10 mg/kg PO BID if needed. It's cheap, and I have found minimal side effects. It is excreted through the kidneys though, so might be a good idea to get baseline bloodwork first to make sure everything is OK.

    Adequan/Legend, Surpass, acupuncture etc. may all help as well. Hope your vet can help you out!

    Leave a comment:


  • MunchkinsMom
    replied
    I have a 28 year old mare that has been on B-L Solution for 9 years, and it does help her. Just started it with the 23 year old gelding also.

    On days that the mare is particularly gimpy, bute is used.

    I will ask the vet about previcox if she gets worse as she gets older.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pookah
    replied
    One other thing I would encourage--experiment with different treatments, esp. over time. Just like some people swear by Advil and others by Aleve, different drugs work for different horses. So if Bute doesn't help, I would try Previcox, and if that doesn't help Naproxen, etc--if your horse doesn't get relief with one NSAID, don't rule out trying another, because there isn't one that is better than the other for every horse.

    Leave a comment:


  • Laurierace
    replied
    Originally posted by summerhorse View Post
    I have found previcox to be better than bute. I've been able to cut way back on the amount given and she's moving better than ever. I do give the large tablets though (220mg?) and had to give them every day for 3 or more months to get this level of control. Her bloodwork has shown no side effects. But ulcer control is required.
    Well that is roughly the equivalent of 8 bute tabs. I would hope that would make the horse sound.

    Leave a comment:


  • summerhorse
    replied
    I have found previcox to be better than bute. I've been able to cut way back on the amount given and she's moving better than ever. I do give the large tablets though (220mg?) and had to give them every day for 3 or more months to get this level of control. Her bloodwork has shown no side effects. But ulcer control is required.

    Leave a comment:


  • naturalequus
    replied
    Previcoxx

    Originally posted by Fharoah View Post
    I would try equioxx/previcoxx. My vet sells me a 60 tablet 227mg which I cut in 1/4's.
    It is a canine drug however they have formulated the same drug for horses now (in the US), but in paste form I believe, and for a MUCH higher price. As such, my vet recommended Previcoxx for one of my boys, who is currently unsound. We needed a long-term solution until we can re-evaluate in the spring, and so far so good. It cost me approx $16 every 3 weeks. ETA: I cut the 227mg tabs into 1/4's as well.

    He is not so comfortable on it that he can do much more than exist as a pasture puff, but at least he is now a comfortable, sound, happy, perky, playful pasture puff for the time being, as opposed to the mopey, sad-looking, obviously sore young man we had before (sufficiently sore that he would shift his weight back to his hinds, which would stock up, and point that sore left front - something he does not do on the Previcoxx). We've even seen him trotting about in his field, and he certainly is obviously much more pain-free Prior he did not quite jog sound and especially not under duress. Now, he jogs amazingly sound (beautiful reach and floaty trot that wasn't there prior), though as I mentioned, he still cannot be ridden and even trimming his feet, by the time we get to the hind on the same side as the lame front, he's trying to take his foot away because he feels sore (though he will still jog relatively sound afterwards). It isn't a miracle worker, but it has made all the (noticeable) difference in quality of life for my boy - enough so that he is obviously happier and more comfortable. At the very least, I would like him comfortable for one last good summer he can enjoy, but hopefully we can fix him up come spring.

    I was told by my vet that it did not have any of the side effects of Bute, but that it might be less effective for some horses. He asked me to put him on it for 2 weeks and see if I noticed a difference. We wouldn't have to worry about ulcers however, and no weight issues on it either. So far there has been a noticeable difference and he has been on it about 4 weeks. I would certainly consult my vet about it!
    Last edited by naturalequus; Jan. 11, 2011, 11:00 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • GatoGordo
    replied
    It's waaaay off-label, but gabapentin (Neurontin) is a human drug originally used as an anti-convulsant but also used for neuropathic pain. It is increasingly used in small animals and even in horses to supplement other pain control methods - IOW, it won't replace NSAID's but it could help. If your vet is a member of VIN (Veterinary Information Network), there are discussions on there of dosing, etc. - I don't think there's been much published in the formal literature yet on use in horses.

    I agree that the quality of life benefits are almost undoubtedly far, far greater for using NSAID's than not at this point. Even without going for Equioxx, many horses have a high quality of life for years on daily bute.

    Adequan is something else to consider if you can afford it (not many would, but it sounds like your grand old girl has quite the life).

    Leave a comment:


  • Fharoah
    replied
    previcoxx is the dog version of equioxx http://www.equioxx.com/

    They come in 57mg and 227mg. The 227mg is cheaper. I paid $130 for 60 tablets of 227mg which I cut into 1/4 dose so for me I got 240 doses of previcoxx for $130.

    Good luck with your mare!

    Leave a comment:


  • Plumcreek
    replied
    Thank you all. I will ask about Previcoxx tomorrow. I seem to remember something about buying the dog version of Previcoxx for horses and it being less costly? Will have to search for that here. I will also start giving this mare the Cetyl-M that her BFF is getting. Certainly worked for our arthritic dog. Less discomfort is a two edged sword with this mare, as when she feels good she spins around like a winning reining horse and plays pretty hard, then is crippled the next day. She is an own daughter of the TB sire of QHs, Swift Solo.

    My mare that had the ulcer showed no symptoms at all that she had an ulcer, so you don't know until the autopsy. On the other hand, no symptoms probably meant little discomfort from it.

    For anyone with an old horse, the Teff hay is wonderful - I get very fine stemmed second cutting. It tastes sweet and she loves it equally to her leafy alfalfa. Even the darn dog wants to eat it, and only the Teff hay, not the good grass mix the others get.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pookah
    replied
    I second all of the above. I am a firm believer, and have always been advised by my vets, that horses get to a certain age where the benefits of daily Bute for comfort outweigh the potential ulcer risks. (plus, although it's certainly a risk, it's not THAT common, so if you've already had one horse get ulcers you're probably safe on the second one--that's how I prefer to think of it, although that often backfires on me and it turns out that I have two medical weirdos ).

    But, I would really recommend trying Previcox--it is easier on the stomach, and I have seen it work really well for several horses.

    Leave a comment:

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